The darker side of viral marketing

Fedex_2Surely FedEx’s competitors can make something of a USA Today news item from Monday, as summarized on the HealthScout Web site: “Samples of the potentially deadly flu virus mistakenly included in thousands of laboratory test kits have turned up in FedEx warehouses in Mexico, Chile and Lebanon, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). A WHO official said for reasons unknown, the kits were never delivered to their destinations but were kept in the warehouses under lock and key, USA Today reported on Monday.” In this case, that’s just as well, since it made it easier for health officials to locate and destroy the errant samples. But if you wanted to send a deadly virus hither and yon, you’d certainly think twice about trusting FedEx to do the job, now wouldn’t you? We await ads from UPS, DHL and others that assure consumers, “We wouldn’t let your shipment of lethal pathogens languish in a warehouse.”

—Posted by Mark Dolliver